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Okonomiyaki sauce: what is it & can you use it for anything else?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 9, 2022

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Okonomiyaki sauce is a type of Japanese Worcestershire sauce that is used as a condiment for okonomiyaki, a savory pancake-like dish. The sauce is made from various ingredients, including soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and other seasonings. It has a thick, syrupy consistency and a sweet-tart flavor.

Okonomiyaki sauce is available in most Asian markets and some supermarkets. It can also be made at home using a recipe or by combining soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and other seasonings to taste.

Okonomiyaki sauce

Also read: this the recipe to make your very own okonomiyaki sauce

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How to use okonomiyaki sauce

When used as a condiment, okonomiyaki sauce is typically brushed over the cooked okonomiyaki pancake. It can also be used as a dipping sauce or mixed into the batter before cooking. The sauce is also used to flavor other dishes, such as yakisoba and takoyaki.

What does okonomiyaki sauce taste like?

Okonomiyaki sauce has a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of smokiness. The sauce is generally salty, but the saltiness will vary depending on the brand and recipe. Some versions of the sauce are spicier than others, while some are less sweet.

Is okonomi sauce spicy?

Okonomiyaki is a reddish, thick sauce so you could be wondering if it’s spicy. The color comes from tomato or tomato puree (or ketchup if you make an easy one), not from peppers so the sauce is very sweet and smoky, but not spicy.

Also read: this is how you make an easy okonomiyaki sauce without Worcestershire

What’s the origin of okonomiyaki sauce?

Okonomiyaki sauce is believed to have originated in Osaka, Japan in the late 19th or early 20th century. The sauce was created to flavor okonomiyaki, a popular street food in Osaka.

What’s the difference between okonomiyaki sauce and takoyaki sauce?

Takoyaki sauce is similar to okonomiyaki sauce, but it is thinner in consistency and has a slightly sweeter flavor. Takoyaki sauce is also a condiment for takoyaki, a dish made with battered octopus balls.

Also read: can you use okonomiyaki sauce for takoyaki, or are they too different?

What’s the difference between okonomiyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is a type of fish sauce that originated in England. It has a similar flavor to okonomiyaki sauce, but it is thinner in consistency and has a more complex flavor.

Okonomiyaki sauce originated from Worcestershire sauce, but the British version uses anchovies and tamarind as its main ingredients, which gives it an unforgettable umami flavor that’s also salty enough without needing any added seasonings.

The main flavor in okonomiyaki sauce comes from dates and raisins and is a lot sweeter.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a delicious and versatile condiment to add flavor to your favorite Japanese dishes, okonomiyaki sauce is a perfect choice.

This sweet-tart sauce is available in most Asian markets and some supermarkets.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.